Bath Salts, Plant Food, Jewelry Cleaner–The Latest Designer Drug Sending Teens to the ER – by Mendi Baron, LCSW

bath salts mendi baron step 12 magazine

Epsom Salt Soaking Solution, Dead Sea Salts, Organic Eucalyptus Sea Therapy Bath, Aromachologie Relaxing Bath Salts, that’s what comes to most parent’s mind when they hear the term “bath salts.” For the average consumer, Epsom salts are the cure all for aches and pains and bath salt from the sea or infused with lavender, eucalyptus, or spearmint provides skin soothing, nourishing stress-relief after a long day. But “bath salts” means something entirely different to many teens today and here’s why.

Parents take note, while soaking solutions are soothing to the average consumer, the “bath salts” that teens are swallowing, snorting, inhaling, injecting with a needle and mixing with alcohol and other drugs are nothing that resemble the real bath salts one puts in the bathtub to relax. The name “bath salts” is often referred on the street as “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” “Red Dove,” “Blue Silk,” “Zoom,” “Bloom,” “Cloud Nine,” “Ocean Snow,” “Lunar Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” “White Lightning,” “Scarface,” “, Drone,” “ Energy-1,” “Ivory Wave,” “Meow Meow,” “Ocean Burst,” “Pure Ivory,” “Red Dove,” “Snow Leopard,” “Stardust,” “White Dove,” “White Knight” and “Hurricane Charlie,” “Ivory Wave,” “Bloom,” “Cloud Nine,” “Vanilla Sky,” “White Lightning,” Purple Wave and “Scarface.”

This is another dangerous designer drug that is packaged and sold in powder, granules, or crystal form to resemble bath salts. Chemically, they are more like methamphetamine. Merchandized and sold through vibrant packaging, teens gravitate to bath salts for the high. Often bath salts are packaged to look like common household products, such as “plant food” or “jewelry or hookah cleaner,” and sold in drug paraphernalia shops with the warning, “Not intended for human consumption” on the label to avoid regulation. Unlike the bath salts found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, the street version—a concoction of psychoactive chemicals are concocted at home, in illicit labs, or unregulated warehouses, mostly in China.

The mind-altering ingredients that make up “bath salts” are a cheap substitute for stimulants such as methamphetamine or cocaine. Add bath salts to the growing list of synthetic crystals or powders that young people use to get high, but also send them to the Emergency Room.

Bath Salts and The Brain

According to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), bath salts were responsible for 23,000 emergency room visits in 2011. Bath salts are often consumed with other dangerous synthetic drugs, such as Spice, with 52% of the emergency visits involving bath salts in combination with other drugs. Symptoms can include chest pains, increased blood pressure and heart rate, nausea, and suicidal thoughts

Not only are bath salts extremely dangerous as a recreational drug, they have a powerful addictive potential. Tolerance to the drug builds rapidly, causing the user to need higher and more frequent doses to attain a similar high. Once addicted, users begin to experience intense cravings, similar to that of a methamphetamine user.

If your teen is showing signs of bath salts abuse, it is vital that you address this dangerous condition at once. Behavioral effects and symptoms of use can include:

Change in eating habits, reduced intake
Chest pain
Delusions and hallucinations
Increased blood pressure and heart rate
Increased body temperature or chills
Kidney pain
Change in eating habits, reduced intake
Muscle tension
Sleep disturbances|
Suicidal thoughts

These dangerous synthetic drugs can cause serious adverse health effects such as heart problems, elevated body temperature, vessel constriction, seizures, muscle spasms and tremors, even death. If you discover or suspect that your teen is using bath salts, the Evolve team is available 24/7 to answer your questions and provide you any support you may need.


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